SOCIO- ECONOMIC DETERMINANTS OF FEMALE CRIMINALITY AMONGST INMATES OF CORRECTIONAL SERVICES IN SOUTH-EAST NIGERIA
In traditional societies, women were perceived as bearers and nurturers of children. Thus, their involvement in crime was perceived as a deviation from this basic nature. However, reports in the media and academia validate the notion that females involvement in crime is increasing in frequency and scope in contemporary societies. Consequently, the interest of this study was to examine the socio-economic determinants of female criminality among inmates of correctional services in south-eastern Nigeria. The Structural- Strain theory and women liberation theory were adopted as theoretical framework while the mixed-method was adopted as the research design. Both quantitative (questionnaire) and qualitative (In-depth interview quide) were instruments of data collection used. A total of 267 respondents that constitute the population of females in the federal prisons that make up south east, Nigeria at the time of data collection were purposively selected. In addition, criminal justice officials were interviewed. The statistical package for social sciences (SPSS) was used to process the data collected. Specifically, thequantitive data collected from the field was presented, interpreted, and analyzed using descriptive statistics such as frequency tables and simple
percentages. Findings revealed that female criminality is determined by socio-economic factors—frustration, family problems, peer influence, poor parenting, and the influence of social media, spousal/relationship issues, widening socio-economic opportunities open to women in the labour force. There is also a strong nexus between unemployment, poverty and female criminality. The study recommended that effective control measures of female criminality should address the factors which women associate with their criminality. The study also advocated that individuals and social institutions should care for and protect the female folks. Women should have access to education, skills acquisition, and employment opportunities in order to minimize their involvement in criminal activities.